The Brooklyn Nets haven't been playing well in the past seven games.
A look at the stats:
Points per game: 90.6
Opponents' points per game: 96.1
Field goal percentage: 43.9
Opponents' field goal percentage: 46.7
Turnovers per game: 15.1
Average margin of defeat: 16.5
Their upcoming schedule isn't doing them any favors:
Friday @ Washington: Coming off 10-point win over New York.
Sunday vs. San Antonio: Annihilated Brooklyn by 31 on New Year's Eve.
Feb. 11 @ Indiana: 15-game home winning streak as of Tuesday.
Feb. 13 vs. Denver: Enters Thursday on a seven-game winning streak.
Feb. 19 vs. Milwaukee: 2-0 vs. Nets this season.
Feb. 20 @ Milwaukee: See above.
Feb. 22 vs. Houston: Torched Brooklyn for 119 points on Jan. 26.
Feb. 24 vs. Memphis: Held Nets to 77 points in 24-point win on Jan. 25.
Of those opponents, only Washington has a losing record. Brooklyn (29-20) is just 11-19 against .500-or-better teams (at time of game played) this season.
The Nets can play well during this stretch if:
1. They avoid playing terrible quarters: In the past seven games, the Nets have been outscored by nine or more points in a quarter eight times:
• Memphis, 32-22 (first)
• Memphis, 35-22 (second)
• Houston, 34-20 (second)
• Orlando, 23-14 (third)
• Miami, 30-20 (first)
• Miami, 36-14 (third)
• Chicago, 28-17 (second)
• Lakers, 31-16 (second)
2. Iso Joe and D-Will get it together: In his last seven games, Joe Johnson is averaging 13.3 points on 35.5 percent shooting. Since coming down with the flu, Deron Williams is averaging 11.8 points on 38.6 percent shooting and has 26 assists and 20 turnovers (four games). On Wednesday night, Williams injured his knee/thigh and shoulder, though he remained in the game. He'll enjoy getting Thursday off.
3. They execute better in crunch time: Late in Wednesday night's game, up one, the Nets got the ball to All-Star center Brook Lopez on the left block and let him isolate. Lopez wound up converting a layup inside that gave the team a 91-88 lead with 17.2 seconds left. Keith Bogans then did a wonderful job contesting Will Bynum on his potential game-tying 3-point attempt from the corner at the buzzer. It was certainly a step in the right direction.
Still, prior to Lopez's big bucket, the Nets had gone 3½ minutes without a field goal. And on Tuesday night, they went 0-for-6 with a turnover down the stretch as the Lakers closed on a 10-0 run to snap the Nets' 17-game winning streak over sub-.500 teams to start the season.